How to Refresh Your Go-To Summer Basics for Fall

It’s still fairly hot in St. Louis, but I’m already over my summer clothes. You too? I’m ready to embrace fall, and more importantly, fall style. Instead of running out and buying all the new gorgeous styles in stores, though, I’m refashioning some of my go-to basics. With a few styling tweaks, my oldies feel fresh for the season.

Remember my gingham shirt, a year-round staple, worn with shorts in this post? What about my light-wash ankle jeans (seen before here)? Well, today, I’m giving both items a fall style makeover. To do this, I’m drawing inspiration from the boys.

Gingham shirt | High-waisted jeans (similar) | Loafers c/0 Pic & Pay (option)

Fedora | Belt (similar) | Lip: Mac “Rebel”

Translating Runway Trends into Your Wardrobe

I love the menswear-inspired trends for women this fall. From the power suit (see how I work that trend using $30 jeans here) to other dapper styles. And, with one new addition, a sharp fedora, a couple of my go-to summer basics can evoke that kind of flavor.

Gingham shirt? Check. High-waisted ankle jeans? Check. Together? They make magic, especially when the shirt is tucked in to create a polished and refined look.

And, the finishing touch? A super old skinny belt that ties everything together.

How are you making your old favorites feel fresh for the new season?

Location: South City, St. Louis

Summer Basics Fall Style

Brave Fall Weather in a Power Red Coat

It might still be hot outside, but it’s never too early to starting thinking about coats. When I walked into J.Crew recently, I spotted the Daphne topcoat in boiled wool in bright red.  I was immediately drawn to it because of the stunning color. It comes in a real red, a power red. I tried on this power red coat and declared it my go-to coat for fall. Read on to find out why.

Red topcoat | Stripe top c/o | Black high-rise jeans | Gold oxfords

Sunglasses | Lip: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb

J.Crew took a chance on this Daphne topcoat. It’s an unlined, lightweight coat. It comes in a new fabric called boiled wool. And, the coat has raw edges. I’m so glad I got to try this on in person because initial online reviewers weren’t fans of these features. Me? I love ’em!

You see, this topcoat, unlined and all, is like a super cozy layering piece. The sleeves roll up as easily as those on a sweater coat for added fun with styling. And, the boiled wool fabric? I’m so here for it. I have a wool sensitivity, which makes wool feel like a million needles prickling me when against my skin. I don’t get that feeling when wearing this coat at all. Boiled wool, where have you been all my life? The fabric also has a rugged as opposed to a smooth look.

Power red Coat

As you can imagine, I’m also a fan of the raw edges. I like my classics with a little grit, you know what I mean?

When I initially saw the coat online, I didn’t think I would like the buttons (because of their positioning). Surprisingly, I do. The coat looks amazing when closed too. By the way, this coat fits true to size. I’m wearing it in a size 4. Because its so cozy, I could also wear a 2 for a more fitted look. That kind of fit didn’t seem best since I’d be using this as a layering piece.

I own J.Crew’s bulkier cocoon coat (see me rock it here and here). Love it too! This style has a much sleeker fit.

And, finally, have you seen the red on this beauty? The color had me at hello. It’ll go with all of my fall faves, from dots to stripes.

Styling a power red coat:

Simple, Sophisticated, and Seductive: This Bodysuit is Everything

Don’t you just love it when things you love become trendy? The options become plentiful allowing you to be particularly discerning in your choices. When I spotted the Venus long sleeve lace up bodysuit (shop it here for $39), I knew it would be the perfect occasion top for fall. And, it is!


Bodysuit c/o Venus | Jeans | Pumps (old J.Crew style)

Clutch c/o Chameleon Goods (use code STYLE15 for 15% off)

The bodysuit is a simple lace up style that packs a lot of punch. It’s sophisticated in all black with long sleeves and a high neck. That lace up detail in the front though? It’s totally sexy! I’m wearing it today with high-rise black jeans. To dress it up, I would rock it with a long, flowy bottom. Hmmm…I think I might wear it like that for an upcoming fashion show, so stay tuned for that.

This jumpsuit has a beautiful open back with a key hole closure at the neck. I was so smitten by the lace up front that I forgot to capture the stunning back. By the way, this bodysuit fits true to size. For reference, I’m wearing a size small.

Location: Central Library, Downtown, St. Louis

For more bodysuit style inspiration, check out this post.

Shop my favorite bodysuit styles:


Matchmaker: African Print Pants Meet Sweater Vest

I did a little shopping when I attended Festival of Nations, a huge international festival in St. Louis, a few weekends ago. I bought a few summery African print pieces primarily for my trip home in December. One of the items I purchased, however, is a cool pair of African print pants that I figured I could make work for early fall. So, here’s how I’m styling them right now.

African print pants

Tank | Sweater vest (option) | PantsMahnal earrings | Mahnal choker

I absolutely love vests as transitional pieces. Read more about that in this post. So, when I decided to give these pants a fall vibe, a vest was my first choice. And, luckily, I had a sweater vest in a complimentary olive hue. See this vest also worn here.

Digging my glasses? They’re fake, of course. I found them in H&M, y’all.

My jewelry is by Mahnal, a St. Louis-based, handmade jewelry line. If you’re in the St. Louis area, stop by the Makers Mart on Sunday to shop the jewelry and so much more. Save $5 on your tickets to the event by using the code “ECONOMYOFSTYLE“.

Location: Construction site in Dogtown, St. Louis

Mind-Blowing Results from my HomeDNA Skin Care Analysis

My skin care routine for most of my life has been “try not to irritate your skin.” When my skin becomes irritated, it’s an agonizing and often scarring journey back to calm. I have eczema and contact dermatitis. Over the years, I’ve learned what to avoid to keep my skin calm. My skin sensitivity has dominated my routine so much that I’ve often neglected other important aspects of skin care.

In 2017, I wanted more for my skin, so I revisited an esthetician whom I trusted. I did everything she said, and I’ve been having the best skin year. I wanted to better understand why. So, when I learned about a breakthrough test that uses DNA for a beauty-centered skin care analysis, I was eager to try it. Enter HomeDNA Skin Care.

HomeDNA Skin Care

HomeDNA Skin Care

The HomeDNA Skin Care Analysis examines 28 genetic markers in 7 categories related to skin aging. The kits are available in CVS stores for $24.99. You pay an additional $79 for the lab fee. Alternatively, you can purchase the entire package directly from for $99.99.

Easy At-home Testing

The actual at-home process is easy. You start by setting up an online account using the code assigned to your kit. Doing so facilitates the retrieval of results later. Then, using the four swabs included in the kit, you gather samples from inside your mouth. No need to worry about messing this up because the directions are very clear. Next, you toss the swabs into the included sample envelope.

Once I secured my samples in the provided envelope, I put them in the postage paid envelope and put the package in the mail immediately. A few weeks later, my results were back.

My HomeDNA Skin Care Results

The HomeDNA Skin Care Analysis examines 28 genetic markers in 7 categories: Fine lines and wrinkles, collagen quality, skin sensitivity, pigmentation, sun protection, skin elasticity, and skin antioxidants. In each category, the report provides a scale, ranging from non-ideal to optimal, as well as a gene profile summarizing the results. Another cool feature of the report is the recommendation guidelines. Based on your DNA results, you’re given several recommendations including the most effective topical ingredients, supplemental ingredients, and possible professional treatments.

In 4 of 7 categories (pigmentation, fine lines & wrinkles, skin elasticity, and skin antioxidants), I had standard to optimal results. Some of those categories, like pigmentation, weren’t surprising, while others, like skin elasticity, were a relief. The other 3 categories, however, revealed some non-ideal markers.

I was most curious about skin sensitivity. And, no surprise, my skin sensitivity results were non-ideal. I carry some of the gene variations that cause unwanted skin sensitivity. The results here were so confirming, pointing to my known fragrance, ingredient, and environmental sensitivities. The recommended guidelines also confirmed why I’d been having such amazing results with my new skin care routine. I’ve been using the most effective ingredients based on my DNA.

My esthetician and every dermatologist I’ve ever visited have cautioned me to take sun protection seriously. I hadn’t heeded that warning until this year because I’m allergic to chemical sunblocks. I’ve since started using natural sunblock, and my skin is grateful. Well, my sun protection report showed I have a gene variation that weakens my skin’s natural protection against the sun, and that zinc oxide (the key ingredient in natural sunblock) is best for me.

Overall, I had so many ah-ha moments reading through this report. More importantly, I now have a clear and intentioned plan for my skin and its care. And, I can feel confident in the choices I make for my skin.

Disclosure: My HomeDNA Skin Care kit was provided free of charge for review purposes. All of the opinions, ideas, and photographs are my own.